Posts Tagged ‘torture’

Silly me

November 13, 2011

So in last evening’s debate, Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann both would favor reinstating waterboarding.  Christian beliefs? Disregard for others? I didn’t think there could be any more flaws in their characters. Silly me.

Reports continue to liken being waterboarded to simulated drowning. I continue to object. The person is drowning and will die if the process goes uninterrupted.

I wonder …

February 19, 2011

I wonder if most of those who pay the top marginal income tax rate, 35%, were to have it raised back to 39.6%, would  even notice … if their tax accountant didn’t tell them. The folks don’t need the money, and the shortfall will be picked up by those who do.

I wonder how our Roman Catholic dioceses would be led  if there wasn’t a “red hat” to aim for? Or even an archbishop title? Or if there was no bishop at all? Couldn’t there be a rotational administrator for, say, a six-year term? Elected by fellow priests of the diocese? Or does it even need to be a priest? I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest there would be a more pastoral presence and less abusive, thoughtless, and unchristian displays of power … as in Phoenix, Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis over the past several years.

I wonder why waterboarding (no segue intended) is referred to as “simulated” drowning. The person is actually drowning. A more accurate description would be: a drowning interrupted. Torture? Without a doubt. But regrettably prohibited by “quaint” international conventions, or so we were told Messrs. Chaney and Yoo. Care to try it gentlemen?

I wonder why the snowplow waits to come by until after I’ve cleared the end of the driveway?

I wonder why so many recent memoirs from the world of politics are listed under nonfiction? They do, however, provide good raw material for forensic historians. I saw one of the authors interviewed on television. He still has no idea what the hell happened under his watch!

I wonder why some gas station owners raise the price immediately … with underground tanks full of cheaper gasoline, but lower the price slowly until the storage tanks are pretty much depleted of more expensive gas?

I wonder why one needs to speak up to avoid being seated by the restrooms in a nearly empty restaurant? And with reservations no less?

I wonder why some people are so fearful of theocracies being established in other countries and yet seem to be doing everything they can to establish one here. If you want to see a horror show, live under a Christian theocracy … the history books are full of information if you are curious. “Kill the infidel” has been around for a long, long time under many guises. It all begins with orchestrating what our children read, or don’t read, in their textbooks, and what is taught, or not taught, in the schools. I’ll take a secular state, thank you.

I wonder why bloody, violent, psychopathic crimes will be displayed on TV as early as 8:00, Criminal Minds for example, but any steamy scenes (other than soaps while the kids are in school or playing outside) are on at 9:00 or later. Which can do more damage to our sensibilities?

There is a lot of loud talking

October 26, 2010

A very interesting day so far. Awakened in the middle of the night as a very sharp and abrupt storm moved through. According to the news, the storm is 800 miles long and gaining strength. Not going to be good for many people as it moves east.

Took some time to get some exercise while listening to the Diane Rehm Show, a discussion of the Wikileaks’ latest document dump. The documents reveal nothing more than many of us suspected. If the war was legitimate, well-planned, and guided by wise and informed people, I’d be shocked at what the documents show. But what has been going on over there is what one gets when arrogant fools decide to spread democracy where it isn’t wanted. If you think the insurgency in Iraq is ugly, picture someone moving in an occupying us with their brand of how to live correctly.

Later in the morning was my preparation of a Cuban dish to be served over rice: picadillo. We’ll see how it goes. First tasting hopes that it ages well by dinner time. While doing the cooking, Sirius Radio’s “Symphony Hall” was proving to be an apt replacement for Classic 99, a radio station owned and operated by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and sold, after many years, to an outfit playing contemporary Christian music. We are now left with no local station playing classical music unless you can receive an HD signal.

Caught a few minutes of Rush Limbaugh … more than enough, actually. I’ve noticed from his program, Glenn Beck’s, and the folks on the Patriot channel on Sirius, that there is a lot of loud talking and sometimes screaming. Let me say that talking louder and louder doesn’t create a credible message.

How may ways can the extreme right twist things around to conceal their complete and paralyzing disgust that there is “one of them” living on the second floor of the White House. But, my God, am I glad Obama won. It’s as though people forgot there wasn’t a viable alternative. Write your own scenario for what this country would look like had the pair of mavericks  won.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve voted for Republicans many, many times and had a subscription to the National Review for years. But that party is gone and the beliefs that went with it. That old party was interesting in governing on behalf of the American people. The current incarnation stands for little that the country needs to be successful in today’s world.)

What did we have to offer?

December 8, 2009

What he should’ve known
What he could’ve known
It’s too late now

I really don’t think he knew
But his handlers did
That foolish and arrogant man
His understanding was meager
Wisdom completely absent
Heels dug in with inexplicable certitude
Instincts abundant
Poorly formed in pampered privilege

Trying to outdo a parent
Ready fodder for manipulators
Playing upon uninformed passion
Vengeful unleashing of unwarranted invasion
Naïve occupation and reckless governance

Damage done far exceeds
Oppression replaced
Security gone
Hundreds of thousands killed
Millions displaced or injured

Unemployment and frustration
Humiliation and broken families
An ancient civilization
Modern indifference
Now, seething rage looking for an outlet
Self-destruction; self-hatred.

What did we have to offer?

It’s most bizarre

April 27, 2009


Should there be a commission? A special prosecutor? A nonpartisan investigation? Congressional hearings?

Torture? Our country is really talking about torture and the involvement and authorization of those uppermost in our nation’s leadership?

How quickly we become diverted into the “how” rather than the “what” or the “why.” The whole thing is absurd.

Why did we feel we had to scrap our values and trample on the Constitution when attacked on our soil? Was there no time for a sober breath, quiet reflection? Or did someone have a bone in his or her craw all along, and this was the chance to flex some young people’s (some other people’s)  muscle and show the world. Show them what? That we can’t take a punch?

I’m not an historian, but I do wonder if any other country has become so easily and quickly unhinged when attacked. I do wonder if any country in history has ever had such a disproportionate and misdirected response, the virtual destruction of an uninvolved sovereign nation, the displacement of millions, the deaths of hundreds of thousands.  And for what?

I thought I was done ranting on this. It’s most bizarre.

Telling it like it is

February 3, 2009

Yesterday, Eric Holder was confirmed as the new Attorney General of the United States. Hopefully this means the turning of a page on an interpretation of human rights law which was at once both vicious and cowardly. I will not miss Alberto Gonzales’ vacuous explanations of why we don’t torture and how “quaint” the Geneva Conventions are.

This  brings me to a pet peeve on how waterboarding is often described or defined. In a November 9, 2007 article in the New York Times there was this statement:

The goal of  waterboarding, which has been used in interrogations at least since the time of the Spanish Inquisition, is to create the sensation of drowning without causing death.

Numerous times one will hear or read similar statements such as “simulated drowning,” or  the “feeling that one is drowning,” or as above, “the sensation of drowning.”

From what I’ve been able to understand about this issue, the person is drowning. So, it is more than a sensation as though one’s imagination is getting the best of him.  Nor is it a simulation  of what it “might” be like. No, it is what drowning is like. Those who deny or are uncertain whether or not waterboarding is torture may want to give it try.

I’m so glad Mr. Holder spoke up on the issue of torture during his confirmation. Telling it like it is will be most refreshing.